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Configuring user preferences

From: Blender 2.6 Essential Training

Video: Configuring user preferences

As you start using Blender, you may want to change your User Preferences to make it interact differently. So let's take a look at how to do that. User Preferences can be found in one of two places. The first, you can actually make it into an Editor. So if I click down here, you can see I've got a User Preferences option which I can use. That's probably not the best way to go about it. If I want I can also get to it through the File Menu, so do File>User Preferences, and this brings up a floating menu, which is probably a little bit better.

Configuring user preferences

As you start using Blender, you may want to change your User Preferences to make it interact differently. So let's take a look at how to do that. User Preferences can be found in one of two places. The first, you can actually make it into an Editor. So if I click down here, you can see I've got a User Preferences option which I can use. That's probably not the best way to go about it. If I want I can also get to it through the File Menu, so do File>User Preferences, and this brings up a floating menu, which is probably a little bit better.

Now, in this we have a number of different tabs for different types of preferences, different categories of preferences. The first one is Interface, and along here we have basically how big the manipulator is here, we can change the size of our Manipulators, change the size of our axes. Probably one of the ones you want to take a look at here is whether you not you want to display Tooltips. So if I hover over an option here, you'll see this little black box comes up and it tells me two types of Tooltips.

One is the top one in bold is just a regular Tooltip, and then at the bottom is the Python Programming Hints. So if you're going to be programming back-end for Blender, then that can be helpful. Well, one thing is, I like to turn off the Python Tooltips, because it makes that Tooltip a little bit smaller, and if I want I can also turn On and Off Object Info, frames per second, and so on. So if we go over to Editing, these are basically preferences that we want if we're going to do editing, such as our Keyframing defaults and that sort of stuff.

The next one is Input, and that's actually probably the one we're going to spend most of our time, so let's actually come back to this and go through the rest of these. We have Addons, this is basically for plug-ins to Blender, where you can actually configure your plug-ins. Themes, this is our default Colors, and if you want to change the Colors of anything here; we can change Colors of our 3D View, Graph Editors, basically anything here. So this is kind of a nice way to change the look and feel of Blender. File, System, if you have default locations for your files you can put them in here.

System Preferences, now, these are stuff like OpenGL Preferences. What's the default light Color, where is it coming from? Are we going to be using Sound and how are we going to be using Sounds, so what type of Sound Driver I'm going to be using, that sort of thing? Let's go back to the Input Panel and go through that. Under Presets we have a couple of different Presets for the Mouse and for the hotkeys. Let's go through the Mouse first. Under Presets, we have Presets for Blender or Maya.

So if you're familiar with the Maya mouse and the way the Maya mouse works, you might want to use that. So let's go ahead and just go to our standard Blender Presets and just go through them. Do we want the mouse to Emulate 3 Button Mouse? Well, hopefully you have a 3 Button Mouse, but if not, you can do that emulation. Do you want Continuous Grab, and that's really just how you move objects? Do you want to Select With the Left or the Right mouse button? By default, Blender selects with the Right mouse button, and that's sometimes a little counterintuitive, because most other 3D packages select with the Left.

So if you want you can change that; I'm going to leave it at the default. What Orbit Style do you want, do you want Trackball or Turntable? Let me show you the difference of these. I'm going to leave this on Trackball, and if you want you can see how when I middle-click and drag, it's kind of a different feel to the Trackball. So let's go back into our User Preferences here and change it to Turntable. Now, this is probably more similar to Maya, where when you middle-click, it's kind of more Left, Right, Up, and Down than continuous.

It's a little harder to get that angled view in a trackball. It defaults more to a square Up and Down View, which I tend to like, but however you want to set it up is fine. And then, how do we want a Dolly? And there are some additional ones here. Also here is where we can set up our hotkeys. By default we're going to be using the Blender hotkeys for this lesson, but if you're familiar with Maya, or if you plan to use Maya in the future, you might want to start getting used to the Maya hotkeys here.

And so you can just change your hotkeys to Maya, and if you want you can also change your Mouse Presets to Maya, and now Blender will operate a lot more like Maya. So instead of middle-click and drag, you have to hold down the Alt key, left-click orbits, middle-click pans, right-click zooms, so that's the standard for Maya. And if you're familiar with Maya navigation and Maya keystrokes, this might be an easy way to get more familiar with Blender without having to learn a whole new method of navigation.

But for this course we are going to be using the standard Blender hotkeys and mouse operations. So if we want, once we get our default set, we can just use them in Blender. So whatever I've changed I can use it here. But if I want to continue using these preferences, I need to Save as Default, and what that does is it saves whatever I've set up as my default. So the next time I load Blender, my hotkeys, my mouse operations, will all be there for me.

So before you go making a lot of changes, it's always a good idea to just make the changes, use Blender for a little bit, and if you like them, then go back into the User Preferences window to go ahead and save them out. Now, if you change some Preferences and you kind of mess things up, very easy to get back; all we have to do is, again, go to Load Factory Settings and it brings it right back to the standard default views and the standard hotkeys. So go ahead and set up your User Preferences to the way you want.

If you're a Maya person, go ahead and use the Maya keys, I'm going to use Blender. If you're just starting with Blender, you might want to stick with the Blender hotkeys, just so you can follow along with me a little bit more easily.

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This video is part of

Image for Blender 2.6 Essential Training
Blender 2.6 Essential Training

94 video lessons · 23876 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. Using the exercise files
      28s
    3. Downloading Blender
      34s
    4. Notes on Blender 2.7 NEW
      2m 8s
    5. Using Blender on a Mac
      42s
    6. Using Blender on a laptop
      36s
  2. 30m 32s
    1. Overview of the Blender interface
      6m 6s
    2. Understanding 3D view windows
      5m 23s
    3. Navigating in 3D space
      6m 35s
    4. Configuring user preferences
      6m 24s
    5. Creating custom layouts
      6m 4s
  3. 32m 29s
    1. Selecting objects
      6m 12s
    2. Moving objects
      4m 35s
    3. Rotating objects
      2m 48s
    4. Scaling objects
      2m 16s
    5. Understanding transform orientation
      3m 53s
    6. Changing an object's origin
      5m 27s
    7. Selecting pivot points
      3m 22s
    8. Using Snap to move objects precisely
      3m 56s
  4. 49m 18s
    1. Creating mesh primitives
      6m 36s
    2. Selecting vertices, edges, and faces
      4m 48s
    3. Editing mesh objects
      7m 39s
    4. Proportional editing
      3m 52s
    5. Sculpt mode (Updated for 2.7) NEW
      5m 3s
    6. Sculpt mode
      4m 45s
    7. Working with edges and edge loops
      3m 42s
    8. Extrusions
      5m 18s
    9. Smooth shading objects
      2m 23s
    10. Subdividing meshes
      5m 12s
  5. 50m 31s
    1. Working with modifiers
      5m 52s
    2. Working with subdivision surfaces
      3m 48s
    3. Creating a simple creature
      7m 54s
    4. Symmetrical modeling with the Mirror modifier
      8m 21s
    5. Joining mesh objects
      3m 37s
    6. Stitching vertices
      4m 52s
    7. Finalizing a simple creature
      4m 48s
    8. Creating text
      3m 29s
    9. Boolean tools
      2m 59s
    10. Vertex groups
      4m 51s
  6. 22m 36s
    1. Using the Outliner
      8m 22s
    2. Using layers
      4m 30s
    3. Creating groups
      2m 48s
    4. Working with scenes
      4m 2s
    5. Creating hierarchies
      2m 54s
  7. 54m 26s
    1. Assigning materials to objects
      8m 4s
    2. Diffuse shaders
      6m 47s
    3. Working with specularity
      5m 56s
    4. Using the Ramp Shader options
      9m 45s
    5. Additional shading options
      2m 37s
    6. Creating reflections
      8m 29s
    7. Adding transparency and refractions
      6m 49s
    8. Subsurface scattering
      5m 59s
  8. 1h 6m
    1. Adding a simple texture
      6m 11s
    2. Using bitmaps
      6m 53s
    3. Mapping textures in the UV Editor (Updated for 2.7) NEW
      7m 43s
    4. Mapping textures in the UV Editor
      8m 28s
    5. Using UV projections
      5m 56s
    6. UV mapping a character (Updated for 2.7) NEW
      6m 35s
    7. UV mapping a character
      6m 11s
    8. Fine-tuning UV mapping
      6m 7s
    9. Creating Bump and Normal maps
      3m 15s
    10. Displacement mapping
      3m 48s
    11. Using the Node Editor
      4m 59s
  9. 53m 9s
    1. Adding lamps to a scene
      8m 44s
    2. Fine-tuning ray-trace shadows
      4m 32s
    3. Using spot lamps
      4m 20s
    4. Fine-tuning buffer shadows
      6m 19s
    5. Using Hemi lamps
      2m 32s
    6. Working with Area lamps
      5m 17s
    7. Creating sky and ambient light
      4m 49s
    8. Adding background images
      3m 19s
    9. Creating sunlight
      6m 6s
    10. Ambient occlusion
      7m 11s
  10. 30m 8s
    1. Working with cameras
      4m 47s
    2. Creating camera targets with constraints
      3m 43s
    3. Render properties
      5m 7s
    4. Rendering animation
      5m 13s
    5. Adding motion blur
      4m 10s
    6. Creating depth of field
      7m 8s
  11. 32m 30s
    1. Understanding the Timeline
      4m 3s
    2. Animating objects
      6m 26s
    3. Animating properties
      4m 0s
    4. Editing animation in the Graph Editor
      8m 36s
    5. Using the Dope Sheet
      4m 53s
    6. Path animation
      4m 32s
  12. 39m 59s
    1. Facial animation using shape keys
      4m 40s
    2. Understanding armatures
      6m 2s
    3. Fitting an armature to a creature
      7m 23s
    4. Deforming a character with an armature
      3m 49s
    5. Setting up inverse kinematics
      3m 53s
    6. Controlling the hips and body
      2m 1s
    7. Animating in Pose mode
      2m 47s
    8. Creating a test animation
      9m 24s
  13. 15s
    1. Goodbye
      15s

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